So there was this:
I don’t bake bread (or buy it for that matter) because, as readers of this blog know, I’m aggressively low carb, but I may have to just because now.
So, “Caren White”, let me explain something to you. It’s called “stress baking”. People don’t just do it to “pass the time” because “they’re bored” as you so dismissively put it. They do it as a coping method to deal with the stress of having normal–and many alternate–activities curtailed ,of being “cooped up” and experiencing “cabin fever”, of worrying about their jobs or outright having lost their job because a company couldn’t afford to keep paying them when it’s shut down and not bringing in income. You know, income that’s required for things like making payroll (as just one important issue).
Stress–the stress of isolation, of being cooped up, of worrying about one’s future prospects–is a real, bona-fide mental health issue. And I’d much rather have people baking than some of the other things that “cabin fever” can lead to. That you bake as a regular things does not take away their right to deal with the stress in their own way.
Normally, if demand for something like baking ingredients went up, causing stores to quickly sell out, businesses would raise prices on those goods. This has several effects. One is to get people to buy less in the first place. Some people might stop baking entirely (giving you what you want). Others would bake less, maybe deal with their stress with baking projects that are more “labor intensive” and spend more time for the amount of material they have to work with. The other factor would be that producers would see the higher prices and say “I want to get me some of that” and increase production, putting more of the in-demand product on the shelves for people like you to buy. Eventually, it would trend toward a new equilibrium where the amount produced at a new price matched the amount people were willing to buy at that price.
But nothing is normal right now. With all the shutdowns “increase production” is largely off the table. What they’re able to produce with reduced manning, with some companies outright shut down (not “essential” enough), with transportation and supply disruptions is not what the market demands. And since this is an “emergency” if the retailers try to raise the prices to match the demand people scream “price gouging!” and demand government “do something” about it.
And so demand goes up, supply goes down, and none of the normal corrections for that situation are allowed to operate. There are many things economists don’t know, but one thing they _do_ know is how to create a shortage and that right there is exactly how you do it.
And your whiny little post is remarkably ironic given your name. You may spell your name with a “c” but that doesn’t mean that you’re not practically the Platonic Ideal of a “Karen.”